Who doesn’t love some more quarterback talk? Today we release our second part of our QB rankings heading into the 2021 season, featuring quarterbacks 11 through 22. This list features a couple of veterans on their last legs, a few young signal-callers on the rise, and one new face looking for a fresh start.
What do you think of our rankings? Let us know in the comments section.
22. Carson Wentz, Indianapolis Colts
You could make an argument that Carson Wentz was the biggest disappointment in football last season. There’s no denying Wentz underachieved severely, but there were a multitude of reasons for this. Wentz was sacked the second most times in football (50) despite playing in just 12 games. When he was protected and had a clean pocket, he was much better. He had a 76.1 PFF offensive grade when throwing from a clean pocket. Wentz getting out of Philly might be the best thing to ever happen to him. He’ll be reunited with his former OC Frank Reich, and will be in a much more stable organization. With a pretty talented roster around him, we’ll see a much better version of Carson Wentz in 2021.
21 . Ryan Fitzpatrick, Washington Football Team
At 38-years-old, it’s hard to believe journeyman Ryan Fitzpatrick is still playing at a fairly high level, but somehow he is. Last season Fitzpatrick started seven games for the Dolphins, going 4-3 with 13 touchdowns and eight interceptions. He wasn’t great by any means, but he won’t really have to be on a Washington Football team with a dominant defense. If Fitzpatrick can limit the turnovers, something he’s struggled with during his career, he could be the perfect game-manager in Washington and lead them to a division title.
20. Jimmy Garoppolo, San Francisco 49ers
Jimmy Garoppolo is probably under just as much pressure to perform in 2021 as any quarterback in the league. After helping get the 49ers to the Super Bowl in 2019, injuries and inconsistency plagued Jimmy G last season. He was only able to play in six games, (3-3 record), throwing seven touchdowns and five interceptions. With recently-drafted Trey Lance looking over his shoulder, Garoppolo needs to get out of the gate quick this season.
19. Trevor Lawrence, Jacksonville Jaguars
You could make a solid argument Trevor Lawrence was one of the top-five most dominant college quarterbacks of all time. In his three years at Clemson, Lawrence threw for 10,098 yards and 90 touchdowns. He was 34-2 as a starter, the third-best winning percentage of any quarterback with 30 or more starts since 1978. For this reason, without taking an NFL snap, he comes in at number 19 on the list. Lawrence will have to experience playing on a lower-level team for potentially the first time in his career, but he’ll be able to elevate his team and step in and perform right away.
18. Ben Roethlisberger, Pittsburgh Steelers
At 39-years-old, Ben Roethlisberger has decided to give it another go for one final season. The 17-year veteran started off hot last season, leading Pittsburgh to an 11-0 record. However, after suffering their first loss to the Washington Football Team in Week 13, not much else went right. Roethlisberger had a QBR of just 80.26 over the final six weeks of the season and threw four interceptions in the Steelers playoff loss to the Cleveland Browns. It will be interesting to see if Big Ben still has anything left in the tank for his final run at it this season.
17. Joe Burrow, Cincinnati Bengals
One of the biggest storylines of the upcoming season is how will second-year quarterback Joe Burrow bounce back from injury? Before suffering a torn ACL and MCL in Week 11, Burrow’s NFL career was off to a great start. The former LSU Tiger tossed 13 touchdown passes to just five interceptions and had a quarterback rating of almost 90 in 10 starts. Burrow did this while running for his life nearly every snap, and being sacked 32 times. All reports out of Cincinnati are that Burrow will be good to go Week 1. If he is, with an improved offensive line Burrow could be in for a huge season in year two.
16. Derek Carr, Las Vegas Raiders
For the fourth straight season as a starter in 2021, Derek Carr failed to lead the Raiders to a winning record. However, not all the blame falls on Carr. The former second-round pick did have his best statistical season since 2016, throwing for over 4,000 yards and 27 touchdown passes while recording a quarterback rating of 101.4. The Raiders are once again a middle-of-the-road team this year and it will be up to Carr to continue to elevate his performance to take them to the next level.
15. Justin Herbert, Los Angeles Chargers
After just one season in the league, it’s hard to place a player as the 15th-best quarterback in football, but Justin Herbert is that good. The former sixth-overall pick was absolutely electric in his rookie year. Herbert won the Offensive Rookie of The Year Award, tossing for over 4,300 yards and 31 touchdowns to just 10 interceptions. Herbert’s only going to continue to get better in year two and may find himself close to cracking the top ten at season’s end.
14. Matt Ryan, Atlanta Falcons
Despite not having tons of team success, Matt Ryan quietly had a very solid season in 2020. The 13-year veteran threw 26 touchdown passes and had a quarterback rating of almost 94. PFF actually graded 2020 as Ryan’s best passing season since 2016. After trading Julio Jones, it’s pretty clear the Falcons are on the verge of a rebuild, but Ryan has shown he has enough left in the tank to potentially contribute to that effort.
13. Kyler Murray, Arizona Cardinals
If we were ranking the most electric players in all of football, you wouldn’t place many players head of Kyler Murray. While he’s always been electric, Murray took a big step forward as a quarterback last season. He raised his completion percentage from his rookie year of 64.1% to 67.2%, threw six more touchdown passes and increased his quarterback rating from 87.4 to 94.3. Murray also really upped his production on the ground, rushing for 819 yards and scoring 11 rushing touchdowns. If he’s able to continue this upward trend into year three, Murray has a great shot to lead Arizona to the playoffs for the first time since 2015.
12. Kirk Cousins, Minnesota Vikings
He may not always show up in the biggest moments, but Kirk Cousins is one of the most consistently solid quarterbacks in football. In 2020, Cousins had arguably the best season of his nine-year career. The signal-caller tossed a career-high 35 touchdown passes while recording the second-best quarterback rating of his career at 105. Cousins has thrown at least 26 touchdown passes in every season since 2014 while having a quarterback rating under 95 just once in that six-year stretch. Like the Arizona Cardinals, Minnesota is an interesting team this season, and Cousins has a chance to lead them back to the playoffs if he can play like he did last year.
11. Baker Mayfield, Cleveland Browns
No quarterback in football saw their stock rise more last season than Baker Mayfield. The former number one overall pick had by far the best year of his career, leading the Browns to the playoffs for the first time in 18 years. Mayfield threw for over 3,500 yards and 26 touchdowns and cut down his interceptions from 21 in 2019 to just eight. Mayfield even helped his team win a playoff game over the Pittsburgh Steelers, giving the Browns their first playoff win since 1994. The Browns are one of the more talented rosters in football coming into this season, and Mayfield will try to continue to elevate his play and take his team to new heights.